Unitasker Wednesday: Hot Potato

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes โ€” we donโ€™t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

A game of Hot Potato plays like this: Someone walks to the kitchen and grabs a potato. This person then tosses the potato to a friend. That friend tosses the potato to someone else. The potato is thrown around a group of friends until someone drops the potato. The person who dropped the potato is “out” and the game continues until only one person is left standing. The winner is named the “Hot Potato.”

The game is simple, straightforward, and fun for young children who are learning to throw and catch. You can even clean up the potato and use it later that day in a meal. This is not a game that I thought needed any improvement … but, apparently, I was wrong:

Now you can buy a music playing, batteries required, painted toy to substitute for nature’s fun: The Hot Potato!

32 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Hot Potato”

  1. posted by Julia on

    When I was a kid – and that’s going back a ways, 1960s – there was a wind-up plastic version.

    This one is actually an improvement, as it doesn’t appear to be hard plastic.

    Some things really don’t change.

  2. posted by Anita on

    I guess it’s for people who are really, really against playing with food? ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. posted by Joy on

    Thanks for reminding me of this childhood favorite toy!

  4. posted by Shannon on

    It’s all coming back to me now. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I definitely had one of those when I was a kid. I think it looked pretty similar too.

  5. posted by Meg on

    I actually had one of these in the late 1980s/early 1990s. It was battery operated and you passed it around the group until the music stopped. Whomever was holding it when the music stopped was out. I have to say that I loved this game quite a bit!

  6. posted by momofthree on

    I must getting old… used to play this game at birthday parties. A wadded up sock served as the potato and the mom would lift the arm off the record player!!

  7. posted by cdelphine on

    well we never used an actual potato growing up but we just used a bean bag or ball or sock, anything laying around.

  8. posted by cv on

    I played a different version than the one described in the post. Instead of dropping the potato getting you out, there was music playing and you had to avoid being the one holding the potato when the music stopped, which meant you had to get rid of the potato quickly, as if it were hot.

    It’s a dumb toy, but it means that no one has to sit out to start and stop the music. It’s pretty small, too. There are much more egregiously bad toys out there, like that electronic spin the bottle.

  9. posted by Jasileet on

    This is one of the best toys we have. lol

  10. posted by Kate on

    I play Hot Potato the same way as @cv. I clicked through to the Amazon link and they have the same directions. Either way, I don’t think I’d be buying this — but according to Amazon, there’s only 1 left, so get your order in quick! There’s also a waterproof version so you can play hot potato in your pool!

  11. posted by allen on

    i thought it was a version of a game like musical chairs, where you kept tossing it till the music stopped?

  12. posted by Marie on

    *Angry insistence that this is essential, buffered by fond memory of perceived important usage, followed by accusal of writer’s lack of vision of the target demographic.*

  13. posted by Loren on

    I never had one but I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s and I remember being SO jealous of how much fun those kids in the commercials were having.

  14. posted by Kira =] on

    haha, and has it been recalled yet?

  15. posted by Jamie on

    Who needs a store bought hot potato toy. Just use a potato.

    Who needs a store bought jump rope. Just use a piece of household rope or electrical cord.

    Who needs store bought play-dough. Just make some with flour, oil, and glue.

    etc… etc…

    Unclutterer has completely lost focus of what a toy is.

  16. posted by Ann on

    Ha ha ha!! Marie, I couldn’t agree with you more!!! Sarcasm is clearly your second language, too!

  17. posted by Dawn F on

    I think they should add an electric shock sensation to this game!

    Yes, that’s a joke – nobody go crazy on me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. posted by Jenny on

    I had one of these when I was a kid. I loved it. I vaguely remember there being cards that spelled out HOT which ment the came lasted longer.

  19. posted by Clare K. R. Miller on

    I’m not sure toys deserve the Unitasker treatment! Heck, you can’t use a Monopoly board for anything other than playing Monopoly, can you?

    Also, I always thought this game was played with a ball or a water balloon, not an actual potato.

  20. posted by wch on

    Google “cosmic catch” for a much better toy. Each player wears a tag on their hand, and the ball tells you who to pass next to, and judges who wins and loses each point. Fantastic for those times when time expires mid-toss. It doesn’t play music, but has a ticking-time-bomb sound that increases just before a buzzer sound.

    My boys love it; parents will too (I could see this becoming a drinking game pretty quick…)

  21. posted by Cate on

    I think you’re stretching on this one. It’s a toy, and essentially aren’t most toys unitaskers in their own way? I think too that parents these days are much more concerned about their childrens safety (oh, those fun days, riding in the front seat, unbuckled while by mom whippped her cigarette holding hand across my chest to keep me from flying thru the windshield), and don’t really want little Jimmy to scald the palms of his hands.

  22. posted by Michelle on

    haha, this toy was fun for a while but I think we eventually just went outside and pretended to be carebears or my little ponies.

  23. posted by Scott on

    I guess we shouldn’t buy a baseball bat either, since we all know the way to play is to grab an old broom handle…

    I guess you did have to come up with something this week though. Not my favorite though.

  24. posted by Tabatha on

    a base ball bat isn’t a unitasker though, it can also serve a weapon if you have an intruder.

  25. posted by Tabatha on

    i think if there is a toy that you have to buy to play a game or whatever, and there is a perfectly good way to play that same game without actually buying something than it qualifies as a unitasker. or at least a waste of money.

  26. posted by Jim on

    Hot Potato has nothing to do with dropping the potato. It has to do with whoever’s caught with the potato when the music runs out (in this version). In the original, it probably had to do with the potato cooling down enough to not have to throw it.

    This is crap for a Unitasker. Is Monopoly a Unitasker as well? You can only play ONE GAME with it.

  27. posted by Jim on

    Holy crap, I didn’t see Claire mention Monopoly before me. LOL.

  28. posted by Beth Frede on

    Do batteries make it more of a toy?
    My kids are Lego people…. they would probably have fun tossing around a battery-less potato!

  29. posted by brittany on

    My primary school had these for us. I am pretty stunned that this has really stood the test of time to still be for sale.

  30. posted by Linda on

    It’d say it’s handy for when you’re somewhere where you can’t play any music.. (since you’re out when the music stops, not when the potato is dropped) and perhaps you could double its function for entertainment (like a radio?) *LOL* J/K

    I liked your last unitasker though.. the itzbeen.. that seriously made me laugh. How have people been coping for the last six thousand years without one? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  31. posted by Vanessa on

    I get what people are saying that this isn’t the best unitasker they’ve posted, but you can’t really compare it to Monopoly. You can’t (easily) make your own version of Monopoly to play. It has many different pieces, cards, money, the actual board itself, etc. Hot Potato really only needs one thing, and everyone has it in their house, be it a sock, or potato, or ball. Yes, some people will like this toy. Erin has said MANY times that some people will want, or even need, the unitaskers she posts- even she has some!

    So stop analyzing every unitasker to make sure it passes your ‘Unitasker Test,’ and just enjoy it.

  32. posted by Robin on

    I can see why this looks like a unitasker on the surface, but it seems pretty practical to me. You eliminate the need to play music to drop a hacky sack/whatever so that you can easily push your kids outside to play (like we always did). And a real hot potato? I think people with little kids are probably better off skipping that whole aspect of the game.

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